This week’s recipe comes from someone who doesn’t have an internet presence at all. Mamie Patton was a family friend of my aunt and her family for several years, which is how I was fortunate enough to enjoy her delicious food. Growing up in an African American family in the South, there were some foods that felt like family tradition. Mac and Cheese was one of our favorites and no one’s recipe warmed my heart (and my stomach) like Mamie’s. I used her recipe as a guideline, substituting cheeses for ones I love and adding different spices to fit my palate. It’s not something I can eat every day, in any case, but is a nice treat once or twice a year. -Kristina
About Mamie: A native of Athens, Alabama, Mamie Patton has been cooking since she was 7 years old. Mamie and her husband Jerry currently live in Huntsville, Alabama and there is nothing that Mamie enjoys more than cooking and reading cookbooks, other than eating.
See Mamie’s favorite recipe after the jump.
Mamie’s Baked Mac and Cheese
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided (about 2 Cups)
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, or other preferred shape, cooked 6 minutes, drained (about 3/4 cups)
- Combine corn starch, salt, dry mustard and pepper in a medium saucepan. Stir in milk until smooth. Add margarine. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 1 minute. It’s very important that you stir constantly so as not to burn, do not skip this step!
- After the mixture has boiled for 1 minute, remove from heat.
- Reserve 1/4 cup cheese for topping, then stir remaining cheese into the milk mixture until melted.
- Add elbow macaroni noodles to cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour contents of pan into a greased 2-quart casserole dish, or smaller individual dishes. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
- Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven until golden and crispy on top, or however you prefer your macaroni and cheese.
This is a modified version of the recipe from the back of the Mueller’s pasta box. I add half an additional cup of cheese to the recipe, and do a mix of mild and sharp cheddar, and I use skim milk (and less of it) instead of whole fat milk. When I am cooking for others, I have come back to this version of macaroni and cheese over the years because it is the one people like best.